Light Snow, East Ely Yard
9 x 12 Oil on linen
A snowstorm has settled into the mountains of Central Nevada on this cold winter evening. Here, the Nevada Northern Railway's main yard at East Ely is at the southern most tip of the Steptoe Valley. Just beyond the snowstorm is Saxton Peak. Further back in the mountains is the Ruth Mining District, home of one of the largest copper pits on the continent, and the reason this railyard is here.
Portrait of a Lady in Waiting
13.5 x 16.5 Oil on linen
Nevada Northern Railway's Locomotive 93 was delivered here, to the East Ely Yard, over 100 years ago. She is a heavy freight locomotive who spent most of her life hauling copper ore out of the mines and up to the smelter. Today she is in excellent working order and still hauls passengers on the same rails that she has used for over a century.
Here, just before dawn, her crew is getting her ready for a long Saturday. She will work her way up and back down the mountain three times today. Her crew is lubricating hundreds of points, filling her tender with over 7000 gallons of water, and building pressure in her boiler to 180 lbs/sq.in. Soon all of the preparations will be made, the daily safety tests will be complete, and she will move out of the engine house to pick up around 5 tons of coal, then couple up to the passenger cars for a run through Robinson Canyon and up toward the old Ruth mining district.
This painting was awarded First Place at the Laguna Plein Painters Association "Pleins, Trains, Automobiles" show at the Forest and Ocean Gallery
East Ely Yard
12c x 14 Oil on linen
Current view of Nevada Northern Railway's main yard at East Ely, Nevada. Not much has changed in the past 90 years at the East Ely Yard. It was painted in a single morning from the deck of the historic freight house, which has a commanding view of the railway's main yard. In the distance are the coaling and water towers that once served steam engines used in heavy ore traffic from one of the largest copper pits in the US.
24 x 24 Oil on canvas
Catenary lines over Amtrak's Northeast Corridor line. The juice in those overhead lines delivers 12,000 volts to keep the trains moving, the passengers warm in the winter, and cool in the summer. Next stop: Newark.
12 x 12 Oil on linen
Just passing under the 4th street bridge, Amtrak's Southwest Chief is only a few minutes into its 2265 mile journey back home to Chicago. With a quick stop at Fullerton and Riverside, it will soon be heading up Cajon Pass as the sun sets. Tomorrow's sunrise will find it nearing Gallup, NM, almost a world apart from the one we are just departing from.
Green! Though Devore
12 x 16 Oil on linen
Returning from a NHRS convention a few years ago, Santa Fe's 3751 steam engine leans into the last curve as she descends off of the Cajon Summit at dusk.
Ahead, track signals show green for as far as the eye can see on Santa Fe's main line into San Bernardino. As evidenced by the quickly disappearing plume of smoke, the crew wastes no time reaching the speed limit through Devore since they will be very close to their mandated 12-hour workday limit by the time 3751 delivers her consist of 18 coaches to the Los Angeles Union Station later tonight.
12 x 16 Oil on linen
The Pacific Harbor Line railroad bridge in Wilmington, CA
All Is Safely Gathered In, Ere the Winter Storms Begin
16 x 12 Oil on linen
My son and his family now live in Kansas. I love to drive across the state, following lines that the prairie railroads laid over a century ago, which followed the covered wagon trails laid even earlier.
Every 15 to 25 miles or so one finds what remains of a small farming community. Their local co-op grain elevator served as the epicenter of the region's economy.
Here, on a cold, overcast day, an early winter storm approaches. So, here's to all of the brave men and women who lived their lives on the prairie, and each year, gathered the fruits of their labors into this grain elevator.
12 x 36 Oil on canvas
Clipping along through the New Jersey landscape, just 8 minutes away from Penn Station aboard Amtrak's northbound Southern Crescent, you are about to tunnel under the Hudson River before completing your long journey from The Big Easy to the Big Apple. It looks cold out there on this winter afternoon, but who goes to New York for the weather?